While it's a start towards something that looks a little better - even if just a little - the Myanmar junta are still denying Aung San Suu Kyi and the National League for Democracy a place in the new government reform plans, even as they free thousands of prisoners.
The Associated Press
Myanmar's military government has granted amnesty to 8,585 prisoners as a gesture to the United Nations and to celebrate progress on its long-awaited constitution, state media said Tuesday. It was unclear, however, if any of the prisoners released were among those detained when the junta cracked down on anti-government protests in September, sparking global outrage and a flurry of visits by U.N. officials. A dozen political prisoners were among those released, but none of them was detained in connection with the recent protests, said Nyan Win, a spokesman for the opposition National League for Democracy.
At the same time, while still being put at arms length, NLD leader Aung San Suu Kyi was given a special award for lifetime achievement in politics by the Political Studies Association (PSA) of the UK last week.
Burma's military government has said there is no role for the opposition in the drafting of a new constitution. The announcement comes despite international pressure for the regime to open up the process of reform and engage with other parties. At a rare press conference, Burmese Information Minister Kyaw Hsan said the military-appointed reform panel did not need outside help.
Here's more coverage on the emerging political situation: